The Stars Come Out for Miami Live

There isn't a definition for the word superexclusive, but if one existed, it would have pictures of the Miami Live weekly event that’s held at Santos on South Beach every Wednesday night.

The ambiance at this event is like nothing you've ever experienced. You feel as if you’ve been invited to a superstar's mansion for drinks and he just happens to have a live band playing, and his elite group of hip-hop and reggae friends do impromptu performances. There’s an endless supply of velvet rope, and each security guard seems bigger than the last. The night starts off with everyone in the lounge area, where we bump into what seems like an ESPN luncheon's worth of professional athletes such as Edgerrin James of the Arizona Cardinals, Ronnie Brown of the Miami Dolphins, and almost enough Miami Heat players to run a full-court game. James Posey, Antoine Walker, and Eddie Jones were all in attendance.

After a while of mingling, you and the elite set (athletes and entertainment-industry insiders… and one lucky New Times reporter) get to go into the main room where the live instruments are held, and the real fun begins. Once you get through the curtain and about three velvet ropes, you see why this event is so "superexclusive." It is a virtual who's who of the Miami music scene.

The DJ plays a couple of songs while the band warms up. Then the host of the event, legendary Miami producer Big D (Jamie Foxx, Trick Daddy, Pretty Ricky), strikes up the band and hits dead-on covers of today's hottest hip-hop, reggae, and R&B songs. He then begins to call up a couple of his artist friends to do a little something on the mic -- starting with Miami rap artist Smitty (Jive Records) and the woman who crooned the hooks on both Jay-Z and Nas' latest singles, Def Jam phenom Chrisette Michele. After she hits the stage, R&B sensation John Legend follows right behind her and plays the piano for Michele like the true musician he is -- even doing a verse from his breakthrough hit "Ordinary People."

This mind-blowing performance ends with one of the hottest artists in dancehall music, Movado, doing an energy-filled set that transports patrons back to Jamaica, if even just for a few minutes. As New Times basks in the euphoria of music in its purest form, someone in the audience who is obviously intoxicated yells, “It's like this every Wednesday. Last week, Crime Mobb, Fabo from D4L, Trina, and Ja Rule got on stage." Just as I begin to give him the "yeah, sure, man" face, I look around and realize where I am and that he is indeed telling me the real deal. – Andre Uter

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